Paris: traffic difficulties worry traders in the Marais


Determined to make this district a “limited traffic zone”, the Paris town hall is increasing the number of pedestrians and eliminating parking spaces, to the chagrin of traders.

Anne Hidalgo has announced that she wants to make the heart of Paris a “calm zone“. An objective not yet fully achieved, as evidenced by the incessant horns and the long lines of cars at the intersection of rue de Rivoli and rue du Renard. Excessive traffic partly due to the many redevelopments of the roads decided by the current municipality in the Marais district, where many streets have been pedestrianized.

The district is located in the heart of the “limited traffic zone” (ZTL) that the municipality wants to set up from the first half of 2022. The goal: “rdrastically reduce transit traffic to give pride of place to pedestrians, bicycles and public transport», Tweeted David Belliard, deputy (EELV) in charge of the transformation of public space, during the presentation of the project in mid-May 2021.

An ambitious project which does not seem to be favored by all the traders concerned. The transformation of the rue de Rivoli into a large cycle path? “A moribund, empty bicycle highway», Gets upset Patrick Aboukrat, owner of the Aboudabibazar clothing store and president of the Marais Paris committee. For several months, the collective has been standing up against the multiplication of “spaces for soft mobility” and “peaceful areas“.

SEE ALSO – Anne Hidalgo’s “autophobia” suffocates Parisian traders “

The first complaint is that these changes are reducing attendance: “in 2016 already the closure of the quays of the Seine caused us to lose all the customers of the west of Paris», Remembers the shopkeeper,«now it’s rue de Rivoli and the removal of parking spaces“. As a result, a drop in sales of “30 to 40%», He explains. Another problem, the change of audience: “The ticket is lower but above all it no longer consumes the same thing. Result, our offer is no longer suitableHe breathes.

An unsuitable layout

Large retailers are not spared by these difficulties. Asked last week about BFM Business, Alexandre Liot, director of Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann, said he was “attentive, sometimes worried“. The group owns the BHV (City Hall Bazaar) in the district. For them, too, the ease of access is ” extremely important», Hammered Alexandre Liot. If he does not question the desire to renew the circulation habits of Ile-de-France residents, he is critical of the method: “do we need to improve mobility in Paris? Yes. Do we have to do it with a real vision, a real coherence, a real strategy? Yes tooHe squeaks. Contacted by Le Figaro, the Galeries Lafayette group did not wish to expand on the subject.

The method is also what questions Paul, manager of the Troquet du Temple rue de la Verrerie opposite the BHV: “the arrangement was done just any way. They have installed bins and a hoop to park the bikes where I put my terrace», He gets carried away.

The signs are often victims of the delivery men who shave the walls of the stores. Le Figaro

Another development problem: the removal of sidewalks, the main victims of which are signs and signs in stores. Indeed, without these markers, the delivery men start to shave the walls. The intention is laudable, that of not obstructing traffic. Unfortunately, the latter do not always pay attention to the protruding signs. The result: torn storefronts and shattered panels.

Difficult dialogue between the Town Hall and traders

In general “traffic has become so complicated that it is no longer respected and it becomes much more dangerousPaul adds as a delivery truck takes the one-way street to park a little further away. Same story with Guillaume Dellesse. This florist is located in one of the last major arteries in the district still entirely dedicated to car traffic. Already busy in the past, it now recovers all of the surrounding traffic. “It’s super noisy and dangerous and motorists can’t stop shopping because they can’t park», Explains the young man. Normally congested traffic can quickly turn into a real traffic jam at the slightest complication (delivery, breakdown, etc.)

For Patrick Aboukrat, who arrived in the district in 1985, this would never have happened under a former majority: “Were there any demonstrations by traders in front of the town hall under Jacques Chirac or Bertrand Delanoë?“, He pretends to ask himself, before answering so curtly:”we have already done two since this summer“. He says he does not know what to do to call the municipality. He nevertheless explored several avenues, including a rather original one: in July he had released a t-shirt stamped #saccageparis; “It is still on sale and is very successful», He laughs. Contacted by Le Figaro, the City of Paris, has not yet responded to our requests.

Repetitive work is suffocating neighborhood businesses. Le Figaro

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